Happy Easter To All

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the media about Easter this year. Not that everyone cares, just as not everyone paid much attention to
Passover, which began on the evening of March 27 and ends on Thursday, April 4.
But while Easter, for those who do care, is a very big deal, there really is more than one way to view the Resurrection of Jesus. And since he needed to have a resurrection, he allowed himself to finish his life at the hands of men.
Meaning of the Death on the Cross First, I’d like to say that while all, if not most Christians, get their beliefs about Jesus from the Bible, there is at least one other book that offers additional information and a more in depth insight into who Jesus was and what his death on the cross was all about. That book is The Urantia Book. Urantia is just the earlier name for Earth.
The following is taken from The Urantia Book. (Bear in mind that in an effort to keep God in the hearts and minds of those who might be
“losing” him, many columnists, TV commentators, and others who are not afraid to speak God’s name usually will quote from the Bible. While I may also occasionally quote from the Bible, my preferred bible is The Urantia Book, and some of the things that I will quote will not be found anywhere else. So taking liberties as much as any Christian who may quote from their Bible to acknowledge Easter and share their thoughts on its meaning, here are mine. Again, bear in mind that just as we are not forced to believe one way or the other when it comes to religion, thank goodness we are still allowed to talk about God in whatever way we do believe in him. The following excerpts from the UB have been modified to fit this space.)
Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and unforgiving God… [i]t is a fact that Urantia has become known among other neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”
Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of life. In your well-meant efforts to escape the superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross, you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true significance and the genuine import of the Master’s death.
The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evil-doing of his ancestors.
Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.
[S]in is not transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father’s will and the Sons’ laws by an individual will creature.
Jesus lived and died for a whole universe; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the
flesh.
When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all
consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch…unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead.
Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God.
Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the
childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.
Human salvation is real; it is based on two realities: the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated truth, the brotherhood of man.
The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus’ attitude toward those who assailed him. He…prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
There was nothing in the cross which the Father required — only that which Jesus so willingly gave, and which he refused to avoid.
The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath
of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love.
The Resurrection
After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph
and his associates on Friday afternoon. Neither was the stone before the entrance of the tomb in any way disturbed; the seal of Pilate was
still unbroken; the soldiers were still on guard.
As far as we can judge, no creature of this universe nor any personality from another universe had anything to do with this morontia resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. On Friday he laid down his life as a mortal of the realm; on Sunday morning he took it up again….
Let us forever clarify the concept of the resurrection of Jesus by making the following statements: His material or physical body was not a part of the resurrected personality. When Jesus came forth from the tomb, his body of flesh remained undisturbed in the sepulchre. He emerged from the burial tomb without moving the stones before the entrance and without disturbing the seals of Pilate.
He did not emerge from the tomb as a spirit….
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.” It was indeed a fact that the tomb was
empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave.
Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to
truthful spiritual conclusions.
The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the “dust to dust,” without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.
The true evidences of the resurrection … are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals
of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email

her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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